This is such a superb breakfast combo – it has everything you could possibly need to start the day. If you haven’t had time to freeze your bananas for nice cream or if the day is looking a bit grey and needs a perk up, this is the breakfast for you. Packed with protein and healthy fats and a whole heap of texture and flavour, this hearty bowlful is guaranteed to get you going.
Porridge can sometimes have a bit of a bad press for being boring, lumpy or stodgy. Many choose to simply slather it in honey or maple syrup or heap up the brown sugar. While there is a place for this (maybe not the honey in Veganland!), as part of my healthy eating journey I’m trying to do away with these refined sugars as far as possible, especially with the growing evidence as to the harmful effects they can have in both the short- and long-term. I find that adding sugar in its purest forms can give me a mid-morning energy slump which is so depressing and commonly ends up with me taking on more sugar to try and get through til lunchtime. This, to me, just doesn’t feel good – I want my breakfast to give me sustainable energy and carry me on through until I can fill up on my (inevitably?) nutritious lunch.
As with many of my other breakfast options so far, there is massive scope for adaptation and play. Why not start the day with a little fun – challenge yourself to see what you can pack in to make this even more delicious! I often go for simplicity – fresh blueberries, choppy dates and another smallish (or not) spoonful of PB. Because I just can’t get enough of the stuff, I think that’s fair enough. But if you want to go all out, kudos!
I tend to like my porridge on the runny side and because it can be quite quick to cook up, it’s helpful to have all the ingredients prepped and ready, mis-en-place style to prevent it stodging up.
Serves 1 – multiply up as necessary
For the porridge
1/2 cup rolled porridge oats
3 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp water
1 spotty banana, mashed with the back of a fork
2 tsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, take your pick)
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
Thickly sliced blocked Sayer dates
Peanuts, roasted at 180C for 5 minutes
Tart raspberry jam
A couple of squares of 70% dark chocolate
Mixed unsalted nuts
Dried fruits (cranberries, apricots etc), chopped up
Add the oats, almond milk and water into a pan and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Place the pan onto a medium heat and keep stirring. The porridge should thicken fairly quickly – within three minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the mashed banana, still stirring the oats to combine. Place the pan back onto the hob and heat until bubbling and at your desired consistency. Stir in the peanut butter and cocoa powder, if using.
Quickly spoon your porridge from the pan into your favourite breakfast bowl and artfully top with a selection of the toppings above. Be creative and add something else if you think it suits! Comment below with any thoughts. But enjoy your breakfast first, that’s most important.
A helpful tip
Many people don’t make porridge in the mornings as it can take an age of scrubbing to get rid of the tacky aftermath. If, like me, you don’t have any non-stick pans pottering about in your kitchen, fear not – there’s an easy solution. Once you’ve served up your brekkie, don’t turn off the hob. Simply half-fill the pan with water and put back onto the hob without a lid. In the time taken to eat your breakfast, the water should come to the boil and stay boiling – this will help to loosen the porridge remnants from the bottom of the pan. Now you can simply whip it into the dishwasher or wash up by hand without having to ruin endless sponges or take three or so hours out of your day.
Of course, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t leave the hob unattended while it’s on. Maybe this hack is just for the lucky ones who don’t have to leave their kitchen for breakfast! Just think, have some common sense and stay safe, ok.